Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hide your vintage - Courtney and Lily are coming for it

Lily Allen announced last week that she is giving up music so that she can open a 'Vintage ' shop. I've read two different accounts of what this 'Vintage' shop is going to be. One is that she will be 'Reworking' vintage, creating her own line of vintage clothing, and the other is that she will be renting out vintage and designer clothing. I don't know which I'm more excited about.
That word 'Reworking' makes me cringe. Sorry, but you cannot create your own 'Line of Vintage Clothing' by chopping up something that was already created by someone else, and altering it. You are just altering it. You are not a designer.
I say - sure, be green, reuse, whatever. But why destroy the integrity of something that has survived 50-60s years when it still has life in it?
Why can't the "Reworking' people make things from scrap fabrics, or create their own 'Lines' of clothing from 1980-90s mass produced stuff. That would be much more challenging to make something nice out of that common clothing rather than to 'rework' something say from the 1940s, which already has great lines and construction.
The name of her shop/line is 'Lucy in Disguise' (how clever) - Lily says that she is currently 'sourcing vintage'

Courtney Love has been buying up vintage for a while. But now she claims that she is also creating her own line of 'Reworked Vintage' - she even has an 'Aufed' designer helping her to sew up her creations.
While Lily seems to have a target customer in mind, I'm not sure what is going through Courtney's mind about who would wear her clothing other than herself. Maybe the costumes are just for her.
And to be fair, I don't know if this outfit was something that she designed herself, or maybe she bought it from some 'Reworker' on etsy (the Land of Reworking) - but use it as an example of her taste level lately.

Normally it might be an exciting opportunity to sell vintage to a celebrity. But if you ever get the 'opportunity' to sell to Ms. Love, um, just be careful and keep very clear records.

Why should I care? I don't know why I do, really. Neither of these girls will probably stick to their projects very long, and it's not like they are going to buy up the bulk of vintage to destroy. It just annoys me, and it's becoming a trend everywhere it seems, so here I am.
I don't have a problem with someone using common, damaged , unwearable vintage to create something else - although most of what I see just looks like someone took a tattered lace dress and turned it into a somewhat wearable hodgepodge Home Ec version of a tattered lace dress. But I'm sure there are some good seamstresses out there somewhere who make nice pieces.
My gripe is taking perfectly good, wearable vintage that someone would love to own as-is, and making it into some hodgepodge Home Ec looking thing.


Elise said...

Couldn't agree with you more !

vintageblackdress said...

Agreed. I did hear Lily comment that she was going to hire out dresses, I haven't heard the 're-working' vintage thing though. Can't imagine she'd get into that really, probably too much like hard work.

wwwjustvintagecouk said...

Excellent post.. totally agree.

Catwalk Creative Vintage said...

I agree with you completely. :) There's definitely separate camps of vintage lovers out there. Those (mostly aged under 25) that think 'vintage' is something that was made two seasons ago and can't imagine wearing a dress unless it's had the hem chopped off to mini-length proportions.

And, there are those who shudder at the mere thought of re-worked 'vintage'. Altering a damaged vintage piece is one thing but re-vamping a design classic for the sake of modernity is a hideous practice.

I think Courtney Love's reputation goes before her. She's well-known in vintage circles. I wouldn't touch her with a very large barge pole - even if she did want to spend ££££ - ugh! A complete nightmare. :(

Minky Magic said...

You've made some interesting points here. If it aint broke don't fix (or rework it!). When I use vintage 'stuff' in my work, I use broken pieces only or for example if I use a vintage brooch in it, I make sure the piece is still able to be used as a brooch in the future. I would not remove the pin or break it up. No, no, no!

Anonymous said...

These two had some sort of confrontation at an UK awards show recently. Reportedly it nearly came to blows. Don't worry, they are now fighting it out like 'Ladies' on twitter.

propriatress said...

I do use a lot of mass produced stuff to cut up and rework...for a small sample, see it in my etsy shop!

I had a pocket watch print 60s dress in my hands and wanted to chop it up and use the 6 watch prints in new dresses made by me.
I just washed it and sold it without "reworking" or "upcycling" it. I could have paid my rent for 2 months from the great things I could have made from that one vintage dress.
But there are other values more important than money! money, money, money.
Like integrity, and taking part in saving history.
I am praying someone will "copy" the pocket watch design and we can buy our own vintage-inspired version in a year or 2...